By Pendergast Law on September 23, 2013
A 38-year-old man from Mountlake Terrace has been arrested after leaving the scene of an accident and causing a Honda to catch fire in a separate crash. According to a King 5 news report, the accidents occurred on Interstate 5 in the Northgate area as well as near Denny Way.
Officials say the driver had a suspended license when he struck a Toyota and possibly a Ford Ranger before being involved in a fiery collision with a Honda Accord. The driver of the Honda escaped injury, but the suspect sustained minor injuries. He was arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run and driving under the influence of alcohol.
It is fortunate that officers were able to apprehend the driver responsible for these accidents. It is all too common for hit-and-run drivers to elude apprehension and for the victims to struggle to get fair compensation for their considerable losses. In this instance, the driver may face criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident and civil charges if the victims pursue support for the damages they have suffered.
Under Washington Law, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident when someone has been injured or when vehicles have been damaged. Under Washington Statute RCW 46.52.020, “A driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury to or death of any person or involving striking the body of a deceased person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident.”
Victims of reckless drivers can file an injury claim against the at-fault driver to receive support for their medical bills, lost wages, property damages, and other related losses. When the hit-and-run driver is not apprehended by the authorities, support may still be available through the victim’s own auto insurance policy. A skilled Seattle car accident attorney will stay abreast of the official investigation while helping the victim navigate the complex claims process.